shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

E.M. Darnell



Combat killed all calm in him,
leaving gray faces and specters
of boys he killed, their splayed limbs.
With snare-drummed ears he hears
nightly SOS's that trigger fear.
This is the graze of bulleting war.

Discharged, he prays for a tumor—
light on the brain, a sheath

of ardor so graceful it clears
all horrors, singing him to sleep forever,
a compassionate abduction by death—
not ratatat repetitions of gore,
a truce with life, and what a departure,
no more memorial torture.